Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database


Populus trichocarpa (Black Cottonwood)

 

Kingdom

 Plantae Plants

Subkingdom

 Tracheobionta Vascular plants

Superdivision

 Spermatophyta Seed plants

Division

 Magnoliophyta Flowering plants

Class

 Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons

Subclass

 Dilleniidae

Order

 Salicales

Family

 Salicaceae Willow family

Genus

 Populus L. cottonwood

Species

 Populus balsamifera L. balsam poplar

Subspecies

 Populus balsamifera L. ssp. trichocarpa (Torr. & A. Gray ex Hook.) Brayshaw black cottonwood

This splendid poplar is the largest in America.

With an astonishing growth rate (up to 5'/year) it reaches 180.'

It is found in Europe and along the entire Pacific coast to the prairies, between USDA zones 5-10.

The bark is a dark gray and the 6" leaves are triangular, thick, and glossy.

Male and female catkins occur on separate trees and are followed by masses of cottony seeds.

Native groups used this tree extensively and the sticky, resinous buds, from which comes an intoxicating fragrance, are disinfectant and found in herbal products.

This tree attracts birds and butterflies and is helpful in wetland restoration as it takes up excess nitrogen and prevents erosion. Caution: the root system can interfere with septic beds.

     
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